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Q&A #525


Teaching Math at the High School Level

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From: Marielouise (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Aug 28, 1998 at 16:15:04
Subject: Re: Teaching math at high school

In response to your request much depends upon where you wish to teach:
public or private or parochial school, in which state you wish to teach,
whether or not you are interested in teaching in the inner cities, and how
willing are you to prepare yourself for each state's requirements.

Beginning salary varies from about $16,000 (parochial schools in rural or
inner cities) to $35,000 (public school in wealthy communities).  A
realistic starting salary is in the mid twenties.

High school is in session between 185-190 days for public/parochial school
and as few as 160 for private school.  Some school systems in the south and
southwest are in session all year with a teacher working three of the four
quarters.  At most a teacher gets 8-9 weeks off in the summertime.

The critical question for you is whether or not a state will give you
provisional certification to start your teaching.   Most states require a
bachelor's degree in the subject area with a considerable number of courses
selected from educational history, educational psychology, educational
methods peculiar to your subject area.  You are also expected to have done
supervised practice teaching.   Sometimes the practice teaching requirement
is dropped if you can give evidence of successful teaching experience
elsewhere.

Now all of this found very formidable!  It is in some places in this country
but in others where there is a critical shortage of teachers such as in the
Southwest and you can frequently be hired without meeting all of the
requirements.

Many states require that all teachers take and pass the National Teachers
Examination.

If you are serious about being a high school teacher, either contact the
education department at Western Michigan and ask who in the Michigan State
Department is to be contacted for an evaluation of your credentials.

Aside from all of these requirements and many more I believe that there are
three things essential to teaching:

1. knowledge of the subject area that you wish to teach.

2. sufficient energy to be around young people all day. Teaching is a full
time occupation.

3. kindness to children:  If you do not really like children ages 6-18 then
choose another profession.

I wish you well.  I cannot imagine being anything other than a teacher.

 -Marielouise, for the Teacher2Teacher service

P.S. Check out the following page for more information:

http://mathforum.org/social/math.jobmkt.html

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